January 2016

A letter from Lisa Tepper Bates

Dear Friends,
In this new year, CCEH looks back on what we, together with you our partners, have been able to accomplish and are optimistic about all we can achieve in the upcoming year.

As the providers from across the state who work each day to end homelessness, you are responsible for so many of our remarkable successes in 2015.  You are the most essential piece of our new way forward as we build new, coordinated systems to better serve those in need. 

All of your work hard in tough circumstances does not end in 2015, but has laid the groundwork for faster travel toward change and making a difference in this new year. 

This year we want to strengthen our practices, abilities, and data. We are closing the year with  comprehensive statewide trainings by the National Alliance to End Homelessness on Best Practices for Emergency Shelters, and introducing new trainings on the VI-SPDAT 2.0 and shelter diversion in the first quarter of the year. And, mark your calendars, for plans are underway for the 14th Annual Training Institute on May 12, 2016.

This year, I hope that we at CCEH and all of our partners in the field will join me in the commitment to make every day count and a new resolve in our passion against homelessness.

We at CCEH wish you a wonderful New Year.  Thank you for all that you do. 

Best regards,


Lessons from the Field:
Hospital Initiatives in Middlesex County

The Middlesex County Community Care Team (CCT) is comprised of  13 community partner agencies that  specialize in the delivery of care of  or patients experiencing substance abuse and mental health disorders. 

This partnership not only helped to create a network or multi-agency  intervention and care, but developed individualized care plans of wrap-around services to best meet the needs of the specific patient and improve social determinants of health. Through just 195 patients,  the program has reduced emergency department & inpatient visits by 1,142, which is a significant cost savings for the hospital. 

By creating this partnership and links between physicians, psychiatrists, specialists, and their supportive housing and outpatient services network of Middlesex county, they have also been able to improve the quality of life for these high-need individuals, such as increasing sobriety, mental health stabilization, reducing homelessness, and assisting re-entry into the workforce.  

In Middlesex County, service pr o viders  have been able to reduce emergency room visits and improve the quality of life for all high-risk patients which are experiencing acute and chronic mental health issues as well as substance abuse and have high emergency department utilization. 40% of this population is homeless or live in fragile or unstable housing. 

To learn more about how this partnership was developed and organized as well as how you can build these programs in your community, please contact Terri DiPietro, Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health for Middlesex Hospital, at terri.dipietro@midhosp.org and Lydia Brewster, Assistant Director of Community Services for St. Vincent de Paul, at lydia@svdmiddletown.org .

E ducational Planning for Homeless Youth: 
The Step Ahead
The Step Ahead is a college planning 
& readiness  program designed to
assi st  students and their families struggling with difficult housing situat ions and related issues as they navigate through the college application process and earn a degree.  

From the coll e ge search to editing essays, gathering supplem e ntal information and pressing submit to applying for financial aid/scholarships and making the final decision, The Step Ahead provides individual counseling and advising. Student who participants will also receive continued support throughout their time in college. Most importantly, The Step Ahead serves as an advocate for all student participants and promises to work through all issues ... because student success is of utmost importance.

Katie Hallisey, Progr a m Director of The Step Ahead, was a College and Career  Counselor in New London before founding the program and works one-on-one with the students. She is currently seeking new partnerships from housing services providers from across the state to get involved with her programs.

If you or your organization would like to contact or partner with The Step Ahead, please contact Katie Hallisey at stepaheadnewlong@gmail.com. For other youth resources, learn more at   Youth-Help.org and the CCEH Youth Resources page.

The Critical Role of Emergency Shelters in an Effective Crisis Response System

On December 8th  and 9th over 120 caseworkers, program managers, executive directors, and other housing related staff came together from across the state for all day professional development on improving emergency shelters across Connecticut through the Housing First principles. 

Kay Moshier McDivitt and Cynthia Nagendra from the National Alliance to End Homelessness spent the day discussing national best practices and rapid rehousing action steps with field practitioners.

The training focused on reorienting CT  programs toward the Housing First Approach, which prioritizes rapid rehousing and encourages programs to house before encouraging further services. The main message is to change the conversation from "What can we do to help you?" to "what can we do to get you housed?," because all other social services can be implemented afterwards more effectively once the individual is housed.

Learn more about how Housing First and shelter diversion principles have significantly reduced homelessness in Utah, Maine, and other states as well as how they can strengthen our approach to ending homelessness.

Volunteers Needed: 
Upcoming Point-In-Time Count

The 2016 Connecticut Point-in-Time (PIT) count will take place on the evening of Tuesday, January 26th.

The PIT count is an important, annual effort to gather data on the number of homeless. It is used as a basis for service and resource planning, and to raise public awareness about homelessness. 

Volunteers are essential to this process!
If you are interested in volunteering, opportunities available all over the state. Experience is not necessary. Anyone over the age of 18 is qualified to volunteer. To learn more and register, please go http://www.cceh.org/ct-pit-2016/
or contact Jackie Janosko at  jjanosko@cceh.org.

Make Everyone Count! Join us in helping make a difference in the lives of those in our community!

Upcoming Trainings:
Administering the VI-SPDAT 2.0

The new and improved VI-SPDAT 2.0 is coming out and organizations across Connecticut will be adopting these changes for their service intake. This training will prepare providers and organizations to adapt to the changes and improve the use of this prioritization and data collection tool. 

The new VI-SPDAT 2.0, Vulnerability Index - Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool, was developed by OrgCode and Community Solutions and will be incorporated into CT HMIS this January.  CCEH will host several one-hour training, offered this January, to help assure that the tool is administered consistently across the system. 

New Haven:

January 5th @ 11:00-12:00
To Learn More & Register Click Here

January 11th @ 11:00-12:00

January 7th @ 11:00-12:00


January 8th @ 11:00-12:00

Upcoming Diversion Training

One of the most powerful tools in a homeless assistance system is shelter diversion, helping people avoid entering shelter by employing strategies to stabilize an existing housing resource or paving the way for other safe housing alternatives. At the center of successful diversion, is an approach that is client-centered, strength-based, and solutions oriented.  CCEH is pleased to be able to offer Shelter Diversion Training by one the country's leading experts in the field, Ed Boyte.
As the Assistant Director of the Cleveland Mediation Center, Ed has presented his successful diversion techniques at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference and has trained across the country. Ed has also piloted a homeless diversion program in Cleveland's men's, women's and family shelters, applying conflict resolution strategies to the newly homeless to help people stay out of the homeless system.  
There will be three options for trainings; a train-the-trainer, and two 2-day workshops, all held the week of February 22-26. Details will be available soon through your Coordinated Access Network managers.

HUD Webinars Available on New Definition of Chronic Homelessness.

December 4th, HUD announced  the final rule on the definition of chronic homelessness in the Federal Register. For more information and highlights, click here .

HUD is offering several webinars throughout early January in advance of the final ruling, which you can learn more about and register for by clicking here

This change impacts eligibility for HUD funded projects starting on 1/15/16, and will change the way in which we count individuals for the  2016 Point-In-Time count . Any questions or concerns about the change in definition can be directed to Brian Roccapriore, Director of HMIS and Strategic Analysis, at broccapriore@cceh.org .

The 2016 Annual Training Institute is coming! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT

The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is pleased to announce our 1 4 th Annual Training Institute (ATI). This event is the premier capacity-building event for organizations working across Connecticut to end homelessness.
With a focus on "Getting to Zero," participants will hear from top experts and innovators about the most effective strategies to build and m aintain the  momentum towards ending homelessness for good.
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ho
Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be the keynote speaker for the CCEH 2016 Annual Training Institute. Ms. Ho will provide a view from the highest level of the campaign across the nation to end homelessness and the progress to date under the Obama Administration, and will also reflect on Connecticut's efforts, as a recognized national leader in the effort.

Be Homeful Crowdrise
Lilo's Marmalade Drive: "I want to raise $12 because I don't want people to be homeless so I chose a big number."
Paddington launches first crowdfunding campaign for CCEH's be homeful project 
Our first crowdfunding campaign is now live! 

Now kids, families, and communities can join Paddington in holding their own personal campaigns to raise funds for shelter diversion through  the be homeful project crowdfunding page .

 If you or somebody you know is interested in volunteering to hold a drive for the be HOMEFUL project , please contact Madeline Ravich at mravich@cceh.org .

Thank You!

CCEH extends sincere thanks to everybody who contributed to our year-end annual appeal. We value every one of our donors and are grateful to all of you who make our work possible. Your commitment means more than ever this year as we work together to end chronic homelessness in our state. 

CCEH Data Updates
If you haven't subscribed to the CCEH data newsletter, you are missing out on a monthly dose of everything data-related that is coming from CCEH! You can click here to sign up , and never miss out on exciting data related releases like the Coordinated Entry Reports , Regional PIT Reports , or the upcoming supplemental youth count data report.